How to Save as .ppt By Default in PowerPoint 2013

PowerPoint 2013 uses .pptx as the default file format for saving presentations. However, you may sometimes need to save your presentations in the older .ppt format for compatibility with previous versions of PowerPoint or for other reasons.

Fortunately, it’s easy to change the default file format to .ppt in PowerPoint 2013. Here are the steps:

Why Save as .ppt

There are a few reasons why you may want to save PowerPoint 2013 presentations as .ppt files rather than .pptx:

  • Compatibility – The .ppt format is compatible with older versions of PowerPoint like PowerPoint 97-2003. If you need to share presentations with people still using those versions, saving as .ppt will allow them to open the files.
  • File size – Files saved as .ppt are generally smaller than .pptx files. If you need to email presentations or host them on websites, the smaller .ppt file size can be beneficial.
  • Default format – If for any reason you use .ppt more than .pptx as a general rule, changing the default save format can save you an extra click each time you save.

How to Change the Default Format

Changing the default file format to .ppt only takes a few quick steps:

  1. Open PowerPoint 2013.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Click Save on the left side.
  5. Under Save presentations, click the drop-down menu next to Save files in this format.
  6. Select PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation (.ppt).
  7. Click OK.

Now when you save presentations (Ctrl+S) or use the Save command, it will default to saving as a .ppt file rather than .pptx.

When to Use Save As

Changing the default format to .ppt does not prevent you from saving in other formats when needed.

You can still use the Save As command to save copies of your presentations in formats like:

  • .pptx
  • .pdf
  • .xps
  • .jpg
  • etc.

Save As allows you to access all of the available saving options on an ad-hoc basis. So even with your default set to .ppt, Save As gives you flexibility.

Other Save Options

In addition to setting a default save format and using Save As, PowerPoint 2013 provides a few other useful saving options:

  • AutoRecover – Automatically saves backup versions of your presentation in case PowerPoint crashes.
  • AutoSave – Automatically saves your currently open presentation at set intervals.
  • Versions – Lets you view or restore older versions of a presentation.

Using AutoSave and Versions can help prevent losing work from unsaved changes.

Compatibility Considerations

When saving presentations from PowerPoint 2013 to the older .ppt format, compatibility issues can sometimes arise with newer features.

PowerPoint will warn you if a feature or formatting won’t be supported after saving to .ppt. In those cases, you’ll need to either continue in .pptx format or modify the presentation to maintain compatibility.


The default file format for PowerPoint 2013 is .pptx, but saving to the older .ppt format is easy to configure.

Simply changing the default save option to .ppt in the settings makes PowerPoint save your files in that format automatically. And you can still access all other saving formats using Save As when needed.

So if you regularly require the .ppt version or need to share presentations with Office 2003 users, making it the default file type can save you time and effort.